Udall: Gardner bill would have punished abortion providers more than rapists

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Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, is challenging Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, in one of the country's most competitive Senate races this year.

DENVER — Just as GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Cory Gardner is looking to re-introduce himself on women’s health issues, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign is set to hammer him for legislation he supported as a state lawmaker that sought to punish abortion providers more harshly than rapists.

Udall’s campaign is focusing on legislation Gardner sponsored in 2007 as a state legislator, Senate Bill 143, which would have subjected physicians who perform abortions in every case but to save the pregnant woman’s life to class three felony charges and a sentence of up to 12 years in prison.

That’s a longer sentence than that served by the average convicted rapist in Colorado, according to a memo from Bruce Brown, the district attorney in Colorado’s 5th Judicial District, written for and soon to be distributed by Udall’s campaign.

“If Congressman Gardner’s law were enacted, a doctor providing abortion care for a victim of rape could be sentenced to a lengthier prison term than the average rapist serves,” Brown writes.

Gardner has sought to soften his stance on women’s health issues since declaring his candidacy in late February, quickly coming out against Colorado’s personhood initiatives — he is still a co-sponsor of a federal version of personhood — and penning an Op-Ed outlining his support for making birth control available to women over the counter without a prescription from a doctor.

Brown’s memo is an effort by the Udall campaign to define Gardner based on his record, not his campaign’s attempt to present the two-term congressman as “a different kind of Republican.”

“How would a judge charged with sentencing a physician rationalize a more severe sentence for the doctor than the victim’s rapist serves?” Brown writes.

“Furthermore, as a prosecutor charged with enforcing the law and ensuring the safety of my community, I am deeply concerned about Congressman Gardner’s attempt to use criminal prosecutions as a tool to implement his own social agenda. By treating the courts as a means to achieve his own political end, Congressman Gardner would make it more difficult for me to keep the public safe.”

Udall’s campaign echoed Brown’s conclusion.

“Rapists belong in prison, not doctors who care for victims,” said Udall for Colorado spokesperson Kristin Lynch. “Congressman Gardner’s outdated agenda would take Colorado backwards.”

Gardner’s campaign blasted Udall, calling the attack “bogus” and “slanderous” but stopped short of pushing back against Brown’s interpretation of the 2007 bill.

“Senator Udall is so desperate to continue his long career in politics that he is throwing out ridiculous charges that he knows are bogus,” said Gardner’s spokesman Alex Siciliano. “It’s sad that Senator Udall has nothing good to say about his own record and instead only slanders Cory Gardner. The facts don’t back Senator Udall up, again.”

Siciliano pointed to Gardner’s vote in favor of the Violence Against Women Act, which, Planned Parenthood said at the time, “ensures that we will continue improving our nation’s response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, regardless of who needs protection.”

He also noted Gardner’s sponsorship of an amendment passed last year to increase funding for domestic violence and child abuse prevention in rural areas.

When pressed specifically to rebut Brown’s assertion that S.B. 143 would have resulted in longer sentences for abortion providers than rapists and whether that is something Gardner still supports, Siciliano did not respond further.

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24 comments

  • Craig Smith

    Dont be fooled this time around ladies! Theres bigger fish to fry in this state and Gardner will not be able to affect your abortion rights even IF he wants to which he doesnt. Remember all the bad things these folks have done to us in the last few years…….Udall says he will protect your rights but only certain ones. He will protect your abortion rights but when it comes to protecting yourselves ladies via the second amendment, he will throw you under the bus! And we wont even get into Obummercare….lets see how you all like that after you get your insurance renewal prices, coverages and deductibles for next year! Just got mine and we are not too happy about it…..

    • ColoNativeRN

      PLEASE remember this! ******* The “personhood amendment” was introduced BY BOTH parties in response to a pregnant pedestrian who was killed in a hit and run at the Stapleton Neighborhood (Old Stapleton Airport). The driver was caught, and was convicted on the manslaughter charge, but, prosecutors had NO legal grounds to charge him in the death of the unborn child! They appealed to state legislators to give them legal ammunition, the personhood amendment was born.
      ****Trouble is, CURRENT voters, here have a selective memory and or are NEW out of state transplants / refugees / non natives and they KNOW NOTHING and do not care about Colorado History.*****
      SPEAKING of NON NATIVES: They are also ignorant of the fact the Udall comes from a big poiticall family based out of Arizona. His Uncle was Secretary of the Interior under LBJ and was KNOWN TO people in the west as “The Butcher of Yellowstone” Stewart Udall ordered the slaughter of large herds of Bison in the park to shrink the herds and left the remains to ROT!
      **********IS THIS the values you voters endorse? That and Udall’s unwavering support for the Ponzi scheme called Obama Care******************

  • Duke Paulsen

    Strange but true (simplistically), Udall’s correct. But what Gardener’s trying to punish those who Outright **MURDER** infants. Though Very Heinous & often vicious, at least “most” rapists leave their victims Alive. Some “lesser of 2 evils” statement, right?

    • lin

      And so many victims at the hands of abortionists. How heinous is tearing your victim limb from limb. And the sentences for rapists need to be increased, not let murderers of the innocent go free! What a society.

    • Tom Williamson

      We are going to stay focused on Gardner’s extreme anti-women views and his support of personhood. The republican nutcases are going to receive another shellacking here in Colorado. mr personhood Cory can run from his extreme record, but he cannot hide.

  • ColoradoCOmmish

    Ahhhh… So THIS election has come down (apparently completely) to the “Female Uterus”…. I’m so out of touch.
    Mr. Udall simply CANNOT allow his record of distortion, destruction, and deception to be reviewed, prior to this election, so, with the help of, campaign volunteer, Mr. Stokols, he may be able to avoid any real, devastating evaluation.
    Best of Luck.

    • NativeColoRN

      YOU NALED IT!
      Starting with the lunch box liberal Eli, who never met a distortion or spin that he didn’t like, to Udall and his unwavering support for Obama Care (I work daily with the implementations that this Ponzi scheme has thrusted on the medical profession), to refusing to support the Keystone pipe line. REMEMBER; parasitic microbes, like Eli and Udall, resort to the race card, women’s issues when they HAVE NOTHING, and know they can’t stand scrutiny, so they deflect and then will distort!

  • Anonymous

    The Southern border is being overrun by diseased, illiterate, and criminal illegals, 50 million Americans are on food stamps. 92 million working age Americans ARE NOT. The middle class has lost $4,000 in spending power. Russia invades Ukraine. The Chi Coms harass US aircraft and ships in international waters, ISIS beheads Americans, and Iran builds a Nuke. And what are the issues in this campaign? Contraception and abortion. BARF!

  • Tom Williamson

    Cory Gardner is a wacko and he’s a goner in November. I hope Udall continues to expose Gardner’s extreme anti-women views. personhood goes down yet again along with all of the right wing wackos who support it.

  • Test

    This is stupid on two points. 1. Comparing average actual sentences to recommended maximum is not valid. 2. Cory Gardner is not responsible for the prison terms given to rapists. That legislation was proposed long before he was in office.

    Fail.

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